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Success…It is what it is!

August 13, 2009

Number Ocho.  #8.  I cannot believe that when I started this guest post business on May 14th,  that it would be as popular and incredible as it has been.  Yet, it has.  Today, I want to introduce you to a really nice runner buddy of mine David over at Running…Because I Can. Pictured below at the 2006 Lynchburg Half Marathon, I dig that photo because the race is over and he is smiling.  He has done a great job as guest post #Ocho.

2006-lynchburg-half

When told I could write about anything, I thought (briefly) about
discussing the complexities of the solar system – are we just an
accident? Did a God create us? Then I thought better of that,
especially when I don’t have an opinion on the issue. After all this
is a running blog, and I’m a running blogger. So thank you Michelle
for this opportunity.

As a runner for five-plus years now, I get asked a lot a questions
about why I run, what makes me happy when I run, what do I think
about, why pay for a race, etc., etc. Rather than get into all those
questions, I’d like to take some time to talk about success. Everyone
has their own definition of success and measurements of success. But
sometimes with runners, as with many sports, it’s a competition.

I met a guy a couple of months ago who was dating a co-worker and we
were talking about the Richmond Marathon (great race, by the way). The
first question out of his mouth when I told him I ran it two years ago
was, “What was your time?” While I think he was being cocky in case
his time was better from the same marathon a year or two before, that
made me realize once again that running is not about the time you get
in a certain race. It’s part of it, yes, but in the end should that
determine your success? For some people yes; for me, not so much.

Success to me is feeling good about what you just did. For example, in
March I ran a half marathon that was about 5 minutes off my personal
best. A year ago that would’ve just really ticked me off. But this was
my first half marathon as a father; it was my first half marathon
really utilizing cross training; and it was the first race that I
truly just did what I could do and nothing could change that.

All too often I felt like with many of my runs – long, short, hills,
speed work and races – that I left something out on the road. In the
past 10 months or so I have learned to just let it go. If my body
doesn’t want to run fast, then it’s just not going to; if it’s too
cold or hot for my liking, I suck it up and go to the gym to cross
train instead. Of course I want to be faster; of course I want to
break these PRs that I’ve set for myself in the past five years; of
course I want to run another marathon … but stressing about it doesn’t
do me any good. That’s why success to me “is what it is.”

Don’t think for a minute that I don’t set goals. And don’t think I
don’t get disappointed when those goals aren’t met. I still beat
myself up all the time … but it doesn’t mean I have failed.

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”

George Sheehan

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2009 12:14 pm

    great attitude!

  2. August 13, 2009 1:36 pm

    I love your attitude too! The reason i love running is b/c you get out of it, what you put into it. Not my quote, but so true! Plus running makes me happy and puts me in a better mood. When i’m mad, i just go beat the crap out of the pavement and i feel better! 🙂 Great post!

  3. August 13, 2009 11:25 pm

    i, too, love your attitude. sometimes i get way too caught up in being competitive with myself that i forget why i enjoy running. i’ve gotten better at it though, running is a true passion of mine and i can’t take it for granted!

  4. August 13, 2009 11:52 pm

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. August 14, 2009 2:46 pm

    I honestly struggle with this a lot. I’m still in the mode of “working to set PRs” each and every time. I’m still not sure that I haven’t ever NOT had a goal. However, in October, I will be pacing a friend in a marathon approximately 25 minutes slower than I could normally run…and I am anticipating that it will be the most fun that I’ve had yet.

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